Worldwide tablet shipments dropped for the fourth consecutive time in the third quarter of 2015, preliminary data from the International Data Corporation Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker showed.
Despite signs of a slight seasonal improvement, shipments were down 12.6 percent year over year. Third quarter marked the shipment of 48.7 million units.
At the close of 2014, IDC estimated the installed base of tablets to be 581.9 million globally, which was up 36 percent from 2013.
With mature markets like North America, Western Europe, and Asia/Pacific well past 100 million active tablets per region, IDC said, the opportunities for growth are getting fewer.
“We believe the traditional slate tablet has a place in the personal computing world. However, as the smartphone installed base continues to grow and the devices get bigger and more capable, the need for smaller form factor slate tablets becomes less clear,” said Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers.
Among tablet vendors, Apple maintained top position, although the days of deifying the iPad as the ultimate tablet may have come to an end. However, the impending launch of the iPad Pro may serve as a silver lining as the market shifts towards productivity-enabling devices.
Samsung is in the second position, but shipments marked a decline of 17.1 percent in the third quarter compared to the same period a year ago. Lenovo took the third position with a slight growth of 0.9 percent.
Huawei has been successful in finding its niche – cellular-enabled tablets. The company registered 147.9 percent growth in shipments.